Pelosi Blames Bush’s ‘Failed Policies’ for ‘Highly Unusual Circumstances We Are In’

By Elizabeth Harrington | January 6, 2012 | 3:13 PM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011, to caution the deficit reduction supercommittee about not using retirement benefits to fix the nation's debt problems. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday the country is in “highly unusual circumstances” because of the “Republican failed economic policies of George Bush.”

During a Capitol Hill press conference with Democratic conferees urging Republicans to come back to Washington, Pelosi called for the extension of the payroll tax cut and spoke on the state of the economy. “There’s some uncertainty here,” she said. “If you don’t think that this is a different time, take a ride outside of Washington, D.C. See what the public mood is.”

“See what the need is for us to create these jobs,” the Democratic leader continued. “Not only to do what they say in the legislation, but what it engenders in terms of confidence and people, hiring by businesses and injecting demand into the economy.”

“I simply will not have us engage in a this and that, last August, 10 years ago. This is about the here and now and the highly unusual circumstances we are in because the Republican failed policies, economic policies of President George Bush took us to a financial meltdown, took us into near depression, took us into deep deficits that we still have to deal with. Are [Republicans] just too tired to come to work? I hope not,” Pelosi said.

Under two-terms of President Bush, the national debt increased $4.9 trillion, with Bush leaving office with the debt at $10.6 trillion. Currently the debt stands at $15.2 trillion, an increase of over $4 trillion in Obama’s first term thus far.

Pelosi’s comments came during a Capitol Hill press conference to discuss the meetings of Democratic Conferees to extend the payroll tax cut, following a pro forma session in the House.

Pelosi, along with Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and others, attempted to speak on the House floor after the pro forma session to call Republicans to conduct formal business.

During the press conference Democrats reiterated calls for the passage of President Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act, the extension of unemployment benefits, and infrastructure spending.